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Wednesday, 03 March 2021

Israel, UAE discuss deeper cooperation against COVID-19

AFP , Monday 24 Aug 2020
Abu Dhabi
FILE PHOTO: A member of medical staff wearing a protective face mask and gloves takes a swab from a man during drive-thru coronavirus disease testing (COVID-19) at a screening centre in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates March 30, 2020. REUTERS
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The health ministers of Israel and the United Arab Emirates spoke by telephone Monday to discuss cooperation in the fight against the novel coronavirus, Emirati state media reported.

The call between Emirati minister Abdul Rahman Al-Owais and his Israeli counterpart Yuli Edelstein came after the announcement on August 13 that the two nations would normalise ties in a historic US-backed deal.

The two ministers discussed ways to "strengthen cooperation in the medical field" related to the pandemic, the official Emirati agency WAM reported.

They spoke about possible scientific and medical partnerships including vaccine trials and treatments as well as a possible exchange of delegations, it said.

Even before their move to normalise ties, which makes the Gulf state only the third Arab country to seek to establish full diplomatic ties with Israel, firms from both countries had agreed to collaborate against the respiratory disease.

Two Israeli defence companies signed a deal with an Emirati company in July to develop a non-invasive coronavirus screening test which could produce results in minutes.

State-owned Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), the country's largest aerospace and defence firm, as well as the government's Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, last month signed the memorandum of understanding with Abu Dhabi-based technology company Group 42.

And earlier this month, the UAE's APEX National Investment and Israel's TeraGroup signed an agreement to jointly develop research and studies on the novel coronavirus, WAM reported.

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